What if there were an app that could help your kids get more responsible with chores–and with money?
We’ve been talking this month about emotional labor and mental load–how to balance all the details that women especially have running through our heads, as we try to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
In that discussion, a number of people have said: Have the kids do a lot of the chores! Or have the kids be responsible for their own homework or their own piano practicing or getting their hockey gear together, washed and cleaned.
Sheila's Spotlight: FamZoo Kids' Allowance App!
Deal with the mental load of allowance & chores!
Keep track of allowance, assign chores & mark them off, all in one place. Plus teach money skills!
Spending. Saving. Giving--all in one app. THIS is what I needed for my kids!
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Supervising Allowance and Chores Is a Huge Mental Load–that FamZoo can Ease
We were quite adamant about chores and allowance for our girls. We wanted them to learn money skills, and we wanted them to do chores, and so the two went hand in hand.
But all too often we ran into problems like these:
- It would be time to pay allowance–but we’d have no cash on hand
- We hadn’t checked to see if the girls did their chores that week, and it was hard to go back and look
- We’d be out running errands, and they’d want an ice cream. They didn’t have any cash. They’d say, “We’ll pay you back when we get home.” And then we’d get home and I’d forget.
- They would put their savings into a piggybank, but we never knew how much was in there.
- They’d get gifts from relatives at birthdays and Christmases, but we wouldn’t have the correct cash to split it up into savings, tithing, and spending.
- They’d want to earn extra money, but I didn’t have any ideas on the spot and they would bother me when I was busy.
How FamZoo Makes Allowance Easy
FamZoo allows you to set up virtual accounts that you can access from a variety of devices that let you give allowance to kids based on chores or based on a set amount. It can keep track of kids’ spending money, savings, tithing, and more. And you can monitor kids’ chores, check them off when they’re done, and even have a checklist of odd jobs that kids can grab if they want to earn extra money.
As a parent, you can see all your kids’ accounts at a glance, and assign them chores, give them money, or do any transaction you want.
Then the child can login and see their own account. And any money they earn can be automatically divided into savings, spending, or giving–in whatever formula you want.
And if you’re out and they want ice cream–you can deduct it then and there.
You can even keep track of chores, or, when kids are older, give them set amounts towards clothing allowances or personal hygiene allowances. Then they’re responsible for spending the money and taking care of themselves, to get used to managing money and budgeting.
And I’m a huge fan of clothing allowances for teaching kids money habits!
Teens can set savings goals, like saving for college or buying a car. They can save towards emergency funds, or even create budgets of their own. And they can see their progress at a glance, or see how much their savings will accumulate over time.
How Does FamZoo Work?
Is it actual money?
It can be. FamZoo has two types of accounts: Prepaid debit cards (available in the U.S. only), or IOU accounts.
With prepaid debit cards, you can order them and then control the amounts with the app. With IOU accounts, it’s a “virtual” bank of what you owe your kids. When they decide to spend some, you’ll have to give them cash, or else transfer money from your back account to theirs (and then enter that as a withdrawal in the app).
How much does it cost?
The IOU version comes for two months free, so that you can see how it works. And then it only costs $30 a year or $2.50 a month for EITHER the IOU version or the prepaid cards (so basically you get the cards for free as long as you deposit using one of their approved ways, like direct deposit from bank accounts). The first four cards for your family are free, and after that you pay a little bit. But it’s really inexpensive.
How Can FamZoo Help You to Reduce Mental Load?
We’ve been talking this month about reducing mental load and emotional labor, and this can help you by urging kids to “own” their own stuff, at age appropriate levels. You can set up reminders for what tasks need to be done, or even homework that needs to be done. You can set monetary rewards or penalties if they do or don’t do certain things (although personally I think consequences should fit the behavior, and if it’s not a monetary issue, I wouldn’t penalize them monetarily).
And if keeping track of their hockey gear or their skating gear or soccer snacks or whatever is really stressing you out, why not assign it to them as a task, pay them $2 a week if they do it, and then dock them $1 if they don’t? (or $2, whatever you want). The app can remind them to do chores, get their skating gear together, even practice piano.
Other Cool Features of Famzoo
- The app can add interest (you choose the rate) to their virtual savings to encourage them to save
- You can charge interest if they have to take a loan
- They can budget for long-term savings, like going to college or buying a car
- You can set penalties for behaviors you don’t like, such as excessive bickering that bothers others in the family or leaving common areas messy. If their allowance isn’t based on chores, but just on being part of the family, then if they make things difficult for the family, they can lose some of their allowance.
- If one child doesn’t do their chores and another child picks up their siblings’ chores, you can even transfer money between the sibling accounts
- Siblings can pay each other for things!
I honestly think FamZoo is the best app, and I love it.
I wish it had been around for when my kids were younger. We started allowance when they were 3, and as soon as my grandson is 3, I’m setting this up with him!
I had two big life skills I wanted my girls to leave home with: I wanted them to know how to maintain a house; and I wanted them to have good money management skills. FamZoo makes both of these so much easier. And it takes away a lot of the stress of the mental load of having to remember allowances and remember to pay kids and remember to charge kids and remember to…well, everything.
So check it out! I think you’ll love it, too.
How do you get your kids involved in housework? How do you keep track of allowances? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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